Too many nursing home residents suffer from bedsores, also known as decubitus ulcers. These unsightly and painful ulcers are the result of the failure by staff to turn and change the resident’s position every 2 hours. Patients who are confined to their bed or wheel chair are at high risk for developing decubitus ulcers. Poor nutrition and dehydration only make matters worse and increase not only the risk of developing decubitus ulcers but also inhibit the body’s own healing process.
How common are decubitus ulcers? Nationally, 10% – 20% of all residents have them. Unfortunately, nursing homes in Virginia have a rate higher than the national average.
Make sure your nursing home has a registered nurse trained to recognize and treat decubitus ulcers. The primary care providers in nursing homes, nursing aides, have little if any training in dealing with this potentially deadly but common problem. The best nursing homes have WOCN (wound/ostomy/continence) consultants available to advise the staff about caring for patients with decubitus ulcers. To find out more about these knowledgeable consultants and how they can help care for your loved one – visit the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society’s web site.